Thursday, March 30, 2017

Battling the Flesh

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. 
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

At times, it seems like these words written over 2000 years ago were written just for me. Why is it that I so desire to live in God's will and be obedient to Him  I let my flesh rule so often? The answer is found right here: the flesh is weak.

I know I'm not the only one struggling with a weak flesh, evidenced by the conversation I had with a good friend this morning. She shared her own struggles of the flesh.

While it seems like this verse was written just for me, the truth is we all struggle against a weak flesh. What the exact item that trips us up doesn't really matter. 

I've been on a journey to living surrendered for a while now, and I've experienced times of victory and times of defeat. Sometimes those fluctuations are a result of changing circumstances, but more often than not it's when I'm not faithful in my time with the Lord.

There's a reason Jesus told His disciples to engage in the battle of the flesh with prayer. It is the strongest weapon we have against giving into our desires. Prayer engages the Holy Spirit and wells His power within us. Prayer refocuses us on the eternal instead of the temporal. And prayer reminds us to praise God for the things He has given us already instead of the things we want.

Battling the flesh is a day by day, sometimes moment by moment fight. We will never win it on our own, but already have victory in our Savior. To live in that victory we have to be willing to fight. To ignore the flesh. To redirect it. To beat it into submission.

Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 9:27 - But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

We've been convinced that depriving ourselves of something is bad. That hard work is bad. That discipline is a negative thing. But biblically, these are all to our benefit.

Yet, even though I know this, my flesh tells me the opposite. For for this decision, this day, I will double down in prayer and seek God for His strength to build up self-control in me to I can resist the flesh. It won't be easy. There may even be tears. But, when I have victory, oh how sweet it will be! Won't you join me?

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I praise You for who You are! You are good, holy, perfect, sovereign, love, gracious, patient, faithful, marvelous, wonderful, priceless, awesome, and amazing. I can't even begin to comprehend Your

Complete Goodness.

There is nothing evil, selfish, prideful, or harmful in You. Not even a drop. My fleshly, sinful heart and mind can scarce imagine it. No wonder everyone falls at a mere glimpse of You.

My heart wonders; let it stray no more. Do not turn from me. Make me faithful. Mold me to be more like you. I do not ask for forgiveness in this moment because I know your mercy and grace has flowed over all my sin already. It is washed away completely by Your blood. Thank You, Lord!

Thank you!!

You're welcome, My daughter. My love for you is infinite. Draw close to Me and I will draw close to you. Soak in my love. Bask in My love. Receive my glory. I love you, My precious child. I love you.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Remind Me, A Prayer


Remind me every moment of every day that You are still in control. Thank You for Your love, faithfulness, mercy, and grace. Help me to be the woman You created me to be. Let everything in my life bring glory to You!

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God hwo loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Be Still - A Response to Prayer from God

My daughter,

Be still.

Be held by Me. Do not settle for less. Do not turn to the things of this world, even the benign things, for comfort and restoration. You are Mine and I cherish you and love you with an everlasting love. I have called you for something greater. Do not settle for good.

Do not fear or draw back from the work or the difficult. Do not rely on yourself or your own strength. You are right that you cannot do it all - in yourself. But nothing is impossible for Me and in Me you can do every single thing I call you to do. It may not look like you expect it to, but it will always look the way I intended it to.

Be still, draw near to Me, and I will fill you.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Struggles and Triumps

Guest Post by Cynthia Simmons

I have a room that’s off limits. If you open the door and peek inside, you see lots of papers and boxes scattered over the floor. It looks like junk, but it’s not. Those messy piles are the remnants of my childhood home. I’m compiling the material into an archive, and each time I dig in I learn something new.

Dad underlined “you were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold” in his New Testament. In the margin he penned, “Redeemed by the blood of Christ.” He didn’t often put his thoughts on paper, so I was thrilled to find a small tablet filled with his handwriting. He recorded his courtship with my mother. It’s so sweet. Mom wore red on their first date, and she spilled her coffee when he told a joke. They were married almost fifty-six years when she died.

A spiral bound book contained tearful prayers Mother wrote when feeling overwhelmed. Her Bible also had some treasures. In the center she recounted the story of her conversion. Precious! She kept notes on sermons, and dated passages she read in her devotions. In 1952 she’d highlighted Psalm 46:1. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Beneath those words she jotted “Eternal refuge.”

Mom had a rare dementia that also impacted small motor skills. Handwriting became so difficult that she quit. In February of 2005 she scribbled, “Why can’t I be healed? I’ve prayed and others have prayed. Do you HEAR? PLEASE IN THE NAME of Jesus heal my body.” That made my heart heavy. Her final entry was in March 2005. The handwriting is almost illegible. “Psalm 33: 13 -20. The Lord is like a shield. He protects me. Verse 18 – His eye is watching me!! He is my strength.”

Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (NAS)

 In Hebrews 11, the author told stories of faithful saints who lived before us. They are that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who believed and endured. I’m very thankful my parents belong in that hall of fame. Mother could’ve turned against God when her illness continued to worsen, but she didn’t. Instead she chose to believe even though she didn’t know how things would turn out. Hebrews 12:1 says to get anything out of the way that will prevent us from trusting our Savior. When I’m tempted to doubt, I think of my parents and the legacy they left me. I can’t allow worry, fear, or discouragement stand in the way. Someday my children will sort through my things, and I hope they discover a legacy of undying faith.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over twenty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. Active in Christian Authors Guild (CAG), she conducts writing workshops and has served as president, vice president, and conference director. In December 2009 the membership granted her Life Time Membership for her numerous contributions to writers.  “Cindy” is fond of history and writes both historical fiction and nonfiction. Her writing appeared in CAG publications, NATHHAN NEWS, Chattanooga Regional Historical Magazine, Georgia Right to Life Newsletter, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Catholic Exchange, and Christian Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, came out in 2008. While promoting her book, she had interviews on radio and TV across the nation and was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the year. She also conducts monthly podcasts called CAG Spotlight in which she interviews authors and VIPs in the writing industry. At present she is completing a twelve week Bible study using the stories in Struggles and Triumphs.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Learning in Prayer

Prayer is something that I have done for decades. Even before I became a believer, my sister and I would say the Lord's Prayer together at night, each being in our own beds on opposite sides of a wall. From those early, innocent prayers, God has taught me much about conversing with Him. It seems like I fall asleep and wake up most days talking to Him.

However, I have known for a while that my prayer life has lots of room to grow. There always seems to be someone or something important or in need that I leave out with my fairly quick, if frequent, prayers. I also often fail to stop and listen. To really engage the Holy Spirit interactively. He is there. He has invited me. But I tend to move on too fast to the next thing.

The Lord graciously reminded me this past weekend of His invitation to sit with Him, dwell with Him, and rest in Him. My desire is to be faithful in accepting that invitation. I know the blessing in doing so is unimaginable and I commit to no longer be "too busy" or too distracted to spend that sweet time with the Lord - not just quantity, but quality.

In giving myself some accountability, and hopefully to be a blessing, I'm going to start regularly sharing my prayers here. Not all of them, some of them are just too private and personal. But when I
sense it could draw someone other than me closer to the Lord.

I will also sometimes include or post the Lord's response back to me. It may be weird for some to consider the Holy, Mighty, Sovereign God of the Universe would talk to us, but it is scriptural and truth. He loves us enough to lead, guide, direct, and pour into us to make us more like Him.

I hope that you are blessed by my sharing of what God's teaching me about and in prayer. I also invite you to share your prayers and God's responses to you.